The Wellington Phoenix are refusing to comment on reports in Australia that a Chinese football club is chasing in-form striker Nathan Burns.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that Shanghai Shenhua have offered Burns an annual net salary of around $2.5 million.
Shanghai had agreed a fee for Socceroos striker Tomi Juric before he changed his mind and pulled out of the deal, and the Chinese side are said to be prepared to offer a significant sum to the Phoenix to secure Burns's release before the A-League transfer window closes in early February.
But a spokesperson for the Phoenix would not say if the Chinese club has made the offer.
Burns only joined the club in the off-season but is the league's leading scorer with 10 goals, earning him a late entry to the Socceroos squad for the Asian Cup.
The Telegraph says Burns is understood to have told his team-mates that he wanted to take the deal to secure himself financially, putting him on a collision course with the Phoenix if they refuse to budge.